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University of Northern Colorado, President Darrell Holmes records

Identifier: RG002-S006

Collection Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials documenting Darrell Holmes's presidency from 1964-1971, including search committee records for the various candidates for the college president in 1963 and 1964. These records also include the materials created when Darrell Holmes was a candidate for the position and document the various stages he went through as part of the selection process. Materials also include Holmes' efforts and success in changing the status of the college to the university level in 1970 along with the change in the school name from Colorado State College to the University of Northern Colorado. Materials surrounding the status and name change include several documents both to and from the State Senate and copies of a Senate Bill specifically on the status change and how it would be initiated.

There are also materials relating to student activism on campus during his term as president and his response to the activism and student demands surrounding program changes and actions in light of other university protests at the time. Holmes' response to the student demands is also included in the collection and includes his proposed changes to accommodate most of the demands made by the students. There are also materials on student activism in light of the events at Kent State and how the administration and students reacted. While most of the materials elude to nothing major happening, some of the materials include evidence of bomb threats on campus and the faculty, staff, and students working together to make sure the school stayed safe. Other materials include university enrollment and reorganization reports, speeches, newspaper clippings from various local papers, and Charter Day records. Additionally, the collection contains audio tapes from both Charter Day and an address to minority students responding to their demands.


  • 1930 - 2001
  • Majority of material found within 1963 - 1971


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Collection contains reel to reel and audio tapes. Some materials may be outdated and unavaialbe for viewing without the use of special equipment. See individual items for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. User is responsible for all copyright compliance. Please contact the Archives and Special Collections Department for further information.

Organizational History

Darrell Holmes served as president of the University of Northern Colorado from 1964-1971. During his presidency at the University of Northern Colorado, Holmes oversaw the tremendous growth in student population of the late 1960s, along with an incredible building program that more than doubled the size of the school. In addition, Holmes responded to pressures from Vietnam protestors and the African American Student Union to reform university programming and administration. Holmes successfully led the move to rename the College, and it became the University of Northern Colorado in 1970.

Darrell Conrad Holmes was born on May 28, 1921 in Angola, Indiana to G.W. and Catharine (Conrad) Holmes. Holmes received his Bachelor of Arts (1941), Master of Arts (1948), and Doctorate of Philosophy (1951) from Ohio State University. Before World War II Holmes pursued an acting career and traveled with a troupe on the Chautauqua circuit. During World War II Holmes served in the Signal Corps in the Alaska Aleutian Islands. After completing officer candidate school, he served a tour in Germany as a combat engineer with the 94th Infantry Division. In 1943, Darrell married Eleanore Hohman and together they had four children, Kip Holmes, Jeffrey Holmes, Lynn Ellen Holmes Williams, and Mary Ann Holmes Millard. In 1951, Holmes started his teaching career at Muskingum College in Ohio. After teaching in Ohio, Holmes served in a variety of positions at different universities across the country. From 1958-1964 he was the executive dean of San Diego State University, from 1964-1971 he was president of the University of Northern Colorado and from 1971-1980 he was president of the East Stroudsburg State College in Pennsylvania. Holmes died from complications of colon cancer at his home in Blanco, Texas on February 18, 2001.


2.10 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains materials documenting Darrell Holmes's presidency, including audio recordings, correspondence, and reports.


Collection is arranged at the folder level. The order of the folders is alphabetical and materials in the folders are chronological.

Related Materials

Photographs of Darrel Holmes can be found in the collection University of Northern Colorado photographic prints and negatives, RG021-S001.

Processing History

Original inventory created by Shirley Soenksen. Minimal DACS finding aid completed by Lisa Hartman in 2018. Collection was reprocessed by Katalyn Lutkin in the Fall of 2018.

Updated by Lisa Hartman; updated by Katalyn Lutkin 10/29/2018, updated by Laura Uglean Jackson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Edition statement
Updated to conform to DACS 2018. Processed in 2018

Repository Details

Part of the University of Northern Colorado Repository

University Libraries
James A. Michener Library L119
Campus Box 48
Greeley CO 80639